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  • Writer's picturePhalafel Cosplays

Phalafel Bytes - How I choose my foam!

Happy November! I want to start a type of blog where I give quick explanations of how I personally approach cosplay creation topics; I’m calling these posts Phalafel Bytes (yes, it’s corny…but I’m corny, so we’re on brand here)!


This week, I’ll explain how I pick my EVA foam for cosplay builds. I like to break foam down into three categories: thickness, density, and function.




Thickness

EVA foam can come in several different thicknesses, and these sizes can play a huge role in building your cosplays. When I build armor, I typically use foam with a thickness of

4 – 6mm. The thinner the foam, the easier it is to manipulate into curves or rounded shapes. If I’m making a breastplate, like my OoT Ganondorf build, 4mm foam is thick enough to be strong and sturdy, but thin enough to easily shape the curves of the boob cups or the bodice.





For my Lynel cosplay, I used 6 mm foam, which still was easier to create those curved shapes, but also

thick enough to achieve the stone-like look I desired. I use 2mm craft foam for detailing builds and creating texture. For props, more specifically swords and guns, I find that the thicker the foam, the better. This will ensure that your prop is sturdy and won’t wiggle about. I typically use 10mm foam, like puzzle floor mats you can get at any local hardware store.

Density

Like thickness, the density of the foam can play a huge part in the ease of building. CosplaySupplies.com has L200 Foam, which is great for armor because of its lower density. It’s almost sponge-like when you squish it between your fingers. While it’s still dense enough to hold shape well, it’s not so dense that its difficult to glue together when its pieces are curved; it has more give. It also generally feels better to move in once you’re

wearing it. TNT Cosplay Supplies has high-density EVA foam. This feels a bit harder to squish between your fingers, feeling more solid. This is wonderful for props or any pieces that your want to be super strong and durable. Foam shapes that do not need curved pieces to be glued together works well with high-density foam. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t use a lower density foam for props, or high-density foam for armor. In fact, Meta Knight is entirely high-density EVA foam. But it just helps to make the building process a bit easier.

Function

Lastly, let’s talk about function. Do you want your build to glow in the dark? Consider using LED EVA foam, which is near-transparent, which allows LED lights to shine through, even when painted. If you’re making small filigree details for your armor pieces, or little beeps-and-boops for a ray gun, dollar store craft foam works incredibly well for small detailing versus thicker 4 mm foam. Need trims for your armor but don’t have the time to cut or create your own? There are numerous foam vendors that now make pre-made foam rods and trims. They even make texturized foam with scales and other patterns so that you can experiment with different looks for your builds.

This may be a bit larger than a bite, haha. But I hope this helps you to decide what type of foam to get before purchasing.

Happy crafting!

Phalafel

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